It is interesting to note those times in our lives when we are full of creative ideas and yet have no earthly idea of how to express any of them—or even being aware of what is floating around inside and yet knowing that it to will be forgotten as easily as an early morning dream.
One thing that this social networking thing has going for it is the proliferation of information of all kinds up to and including books people are reading and music they are listening to.
I was checking out my Facebook home page a month or so ago and saw the name Imogene Heap mentioned in one or two posts. With my interest peaked I logged into my I tunes account and sampled her music and was so taken by her creative freshness (at least to me), I purchased my first album online. (Ellipse)
This was a major step for me: I am decidedly a hands on type of guy—I love to wander bookstores and the thought of a physical CD of music to open and touch is still my preference. It’s a social thing and what causes us/me to get out of our/my shells and participate in a real—not an imagined, virtual—life.
However I digress. Last night Sandi and I went to a dance performance featuring Martha Graham’s company. It was kind of a retrospective show and not one of the best I have seen but never-the-less set my mind to thinking about all the creativity that is loosed on the earth at this present time.
Martha (if I may be so familiar) was an individual who pushed dance into a creative, emotive, theatre-like dimension in the early 20th century and whose path, once opened, was copied somewhat by most of the dance company’s that were to follow. And in this creative stew she wasn’t always embraced by the powers that be—anyone who dares to challenge or change the status quo has this hurdle to leap.
As I was driving home from work tonight I had this thought: In the beginning, God “created” the earth. In this instance, the Hebrew word “create” means to: to shape, or to fashion. Based on James 1:17 (Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights…) I believe that God gave Martha Graham the creative ideas (gifts) that she then turned into dance theatre and the rest, as they say, is history. Whether she was aware of this supernatural transaction, I have no idea—it works in spite of what we know or believe—somewhat like gravity itself.
Expressing ourselves creatively, then, gives God a glory and a substance in the earth and in our lives that He alone deserves.
Yet I am most aware of the fact that the busyness of life often steals our creative expression and we find ourselves passed out in front of the latest episode of Monk or NCIS—wanting to redeem the time but somehow powerless to the grinding effect each day has hidden underneath its’ surface.
I am thrilled to find those people who have pressed through and found that place of freedom and release: Robert Burridge, Abigail Washburn, Sarah Jarosz, Mary Oliver, The Weepies, etc.
A common denominator among many of the artists that I gravitate towards is their acknowledgement of spiritual, godly things but also an awareness of the fact that as humans, we have a hard time making God our all in all—our beginning and our end. In other words, while we are looking to be fulfilled in the Creator, we are still earth bound and checking some things out. And in this attempt comes our music, our dance, our art and our poetry. The artistic urge seems to come from us not being completely comfortable in our skins and is formed/birthed in our desire to understand our purpose in the overall scheme of things.
So—maybe I have said a lot or a little—I have tried to express a thought that seems to keep forming in my mind.
And that too is a ride for another day.